Little is known about the shooter, who has been identified as 59-year-old John Russell Houser, a white male whom police described as a “drifter,” according to the Associated Press. After the shooting, he reportedly tried to flee the theater along with the wave of escaping people, but he saw police near the exit and turned back around. He was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
“My heart is broken and all my thoughts and prayers are with everyone in Louisiana,” Schumer wrote of the tragedy on Twitter Thursday evening.
The film was Schumer’s baby – the comedic actress wrote and starred in the movie, which grossed $30 million its opening weekend and garnered great reviews.
On Good Morning America Friday morning, Gov. Bobby Jindal described the tragedy as “one of these nights that makes you want to just go home and hug your kids.”
He went on to praise the quick action of law enforcement.
“Obviously it could always have been a lot worse,” Jindal said. “Who knows what this deranged man’s intentions were if he had gotten out? Who knows what he would have done? Fortunately that didn’t happen.”
He added: “We will get through this. It won’t be easy. There’re gonna be funerals. There’re gonna be prayer vigils. There’re gonna be folks having to explain to their loved one why bad things happen to good people, but we are going to get through this.”
In a statement, the American Film Institute urged people to stand together in the wake of the horrific shooting.
“Going to a summer movie is a celebration of the American creative spirit and one of our nation’s most beloved pastimes,” Bob Gazzale, president and CEO of the American Film Institute, said.
“Let us stand together in these times of tragedy and embrace what is precious to us – churches, schools and places where the arts can send our spirits soaring. As a national community of artists and audiences, AFI offers our heartfelt sympathies to the victims in Louisiana and their families.”
Other celebrities also took to Twitter to share their sympathies for the families of the victims, including Patton Oswalt, Kevin Smith and singer Sam Smith.
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